Fired Hillsong NYC Pastor Carl Lentz Apologizes for Infidelity

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The hip preacher, friends with celebrities like Justin Bieber, had led Hillsong’s first US church since its launch a decade ago.

In an Instagram post on Thursday, Carl Lentz, the lead pastor of Hillsong NYC, admitted to an extra-marital affair, ending a day of speculation as to why he had been fired from Hillsong.

On Wednesday, Hillsong founding pastor Brian Houston notified staff and members of Hillsong East Coast by email that Carl Lentz had been terminated as lead pastor for the megachurch’s New York City location.

The email, which was obtained by Religion News Service, cited the reason for termination as “leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures,” but did not reveal any details beyond that, saying to do so “would not be appropriate.”

“I know this will come as a shock to you, but please know that this action was not taken lightly and was done in the best interests of everyone, including Pastor Carl,” Houston wrote.

In his Instagram post, Lentz admitted to being “unfaithful in my marriage, the most important relationship in my life.”

“This failure is on me, and me alone and I take full responsibility for my actions,” according to the post.

In a statement Houston posted on the church site later in the evening on Wednesday, he repeated much of his initial email but added praise for Lentz’s work at Hillsong and said he was grateful for the years of service Lentz and his wife gave to Hillsong NYC.

“They have a heart for people and we are confident that after a time of rest and restoration, God will use Carl in another way outside of Hillsong church. In terminating his tenure, we in no way want to diminish the good work he did here,” the statement said.

Houston also assured readers that ministry would “proceed as usual,” …

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